JCRC Statement on the Passing of Eva Mozes Kor, Holocaust Survivor
Monday, July 8, 2019
The Greater Indianapolis Jewish community is deeply saddened by the passing of Holocaust survivor Eva Mozes Kor, who died on July 4, 2019 while on her annual trip leading dozens of people through Auschwitz and Poland.
At the age of 10, Eva and her twin sister Miriam were torn from their family on the selection platform at Auschwitz. While her mother, father and two older sisters died in the gas chambers, Eva and Miriam managed to survive the horrific medical experiments performed on twins by Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, known as the “Angel of Death”. Like many survivors, Eva did not address or share the trauma of her childhood experience until years later.
Hoosiers are truly fortunate that Eva’s path led her and her husband (Mickey Kor, who also survived the Holocaust) to raise their family in Terre Haute, Indiana, and that she began speaking about her experiences in the 1980s and established the CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center in 1995 to ensure that the brutality experienced during the Holocaust, especially children who survived experiments, would never be forgotten.
Eva traveled the world educating tens of thousands of people about the Holocaust and how we must draw from the experiences of those who were lost, and those who survived. Among so many impressive attributes that describe Eva, she will certainly be remembered for her ability to connect with young people in a powerful, personal, and even humorous, way.
One of Eva’s legacies is the State of Indiana requiring that the Holocaust be taught to all Indiana students. Her tireless advocacy efforts, alongside Terre Haute legislators Senator Tim Skinner and Representative Clyde Kersey who authored the bill, resulted in one of the first such Holocaust education laws in the United States.
Those who had the privilege of hearing Eva share her story – not just of surviving Auschwitz – but also her personal journey after the war, learned that her eventual decision to forgive was “nothing more and nothing less but an act of self-healing – an act of self-empowerment” and not an absolution of Nazi atrocities.
As the last generation of Holocaust survivors continues to leave us, we celebrate them in life and ensure their memories are honored and sustained by sharing their stories. Eva devoted her life to sharing her story – both the horror and the healing – to inspire generations of people to “never, EVER give up” and recognize that each of us has the power and responsibility to make the world a better place. May Eva’s life and memory be a blessing to her family, friends, and to all those who commit to sharing her story and life lessons.
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Media inquiries to:
JCRC Communications & Programs Coordinator